72

It's called a dieresis. It's used to show that the "a" and the "i" are not to be pronounced as a single sound. So it's pronounced something like "na-eve" and not like "knave" or with the "ai" rhyming with the "i" in "knives". But in 50 years as a native English speaker/writer, I have never written it like that, and have rarely seen it so either. Another ...


64

The two dots on the letter i are a French diacritic sign. The two dots in the French spelling naïf/naïve show that ai has not its normal pronunciation but is spoken as two separate vowels /a-i/. In English you can write naive or naïve. The French term for the two dots on e/i/u is tréma. The Greek term diaeresis means separation and refers to the separate ...


40

As an American who learned her cursive penmanship in the early 60s, I am shocked to see cursive capitals J and G, respectively, written that way. They seem to be switched in my humble opinion ("G" for "J", and vice-versa), but just the capitals; the lower case look fine. Is it possible they write these differently in the UK? I would tend to doubt it. My ...


24

As a Brit, I agree with the previous answer, that the capital letters are the wrong way round. Here is an example picture which looks correct for all letters to me: It's worth mentioning that, although technically correct, I tend to use roman capitals (as mentioned by @JamesK) to avoid any confusion.


24

TLDR: we only write contrastive sounds (phonemes) in /slashes/. For instance, [t] and [k] contrast in English as in /tæp/ and /kæp/. [p] and [pʰ] don't contrast in English so we don't write them in slashes. Dictionaries use phonemic transcriptions, so they don't write pʰ. However, we write pʰ and p in slashes for languages that contrast them (like Chinese ...


23

I think it is worth pointing out that perhaps the most common use of this diacritic to indicate diaresis in modern English is in the personal name Zoë, which is not pronounced to rhyme with "toe" but instead as "zo-ey".


20

Basically the answer is that naïve is sometimes spelled with the diaresis because it is derived from French which spells it that way. It is actually very uncommon for native English speakers to spell it with the diaresis, largely because, as you've noticed, the diaresis is not normally a part of the English language. The vast majority of English keyboards ...


20

You've asked for an "elaborate" explanation, so I'll elaborate. A character is a typographical symbol. For example, any of these could be classified as characters: $ A m ; * 3 + A letter is a symbol corresponding to a letter in an alphabet, such as M or G. One dictionary defines it as: letter (noun) a character representing one or more of the ...


16

The short version is: the English alphabet is based on the Latinised version of the Greek alphabet, which in turn was inspired by the Phoenician alphabet. The long version has little to do with English, although it can be a very interesting subject. You could start with this Wikipedia article.


15

In some cases in English, the two dots indicate an umlaut, typically seen on loan-words (predominantly from languages like German and Swedish), to indicate a special pronunciation of the vowel: ångström, Bön, doppelgänger, filmjölk, föhn wind, fräulein, Führer, gemütlichkeit, glögg, Gewürztraminer, Götterdämmerung, Gräfenberg spot, jäger, kümmel, pölsa, ...


14

The short answer is that each word has its own history (also called its etymology) that traces where the word came from. The same is true of letters. The word quick, for example, has in fact been spelled with a c and k in its distant past. From etymonline.com: Old English cwic "living, alive, animate," and figuratively, of mental qualities, "rapid, ...


12

In the Palmer Method (1888) the G has the form shown next to the J above. You can see that the G is just a big version of the g, with a hugely exaggerated back-and-forth motion for the tail. The Palmer Method emphasized muscle motion, and the exaggerated stroke led to more movement of the arm as well as giving the letter a more distinctive shape.


10

As a rule of thumb, the prefix ex- is pronounced with /ks/ when the prefix is stressed.: 'excellent 'exit 'exile 'execute When this prefix is not stressed, then if the first sound in the root (the part after the prefix) begins with a voiced sound, the prefix will be pronounced with /gz/: ex'am ex'asperate ex'actly ex'ist This is still true, of course if ...


7

In general, a "character" is any mark or symbol that can appear in writing. A "letter" is a character that is part of an alphabet. Basically, a character that represents a sound in the language and that can be combined with other characters to form words. So in English, the letters are A-Z, in both capital and small versions. Characters include the ...


7

The usual pronunciation for the indefinite article "a" is ə (schwa), which is the "aa" sound (like the first letter in "adorable"). The letter "a", however, is pronounced eɪ - "ey" as in "day". It's rare to hear the article-a pronounced as eɪ - it usually indicates emphasis, like in "Sure, Samsung Galaxy is a (eɪ) smartphone, but iPhone is The Smartphone", ...


7

The letter G is called /dʒi:/ in both British and American English. It rhymes with see. The letter J is called /dʒeɪ/ in in both British and American English. It rhymes with say.


7

In short, because the English language has taken words from many other languages over the years, and with that borrowing of words comes the pronunciation that would be associated with that language. During the Middle English period, we borrowed a lot from French, which used 'g' for a hard g before back vowels (a, o, u) and a soft g before front vowels (i, ...


6

Technically, it's part of a group of marks termed "diacritics". That one is an acute diacritic. More simply, they're called "accent marks" or simply "accents". Diacritic is primarily an adjective, though sometimes used as a noun, whereas diacritical is only ever an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute ( ´ ) and grave ( ` ), are often ...


5

In English, spelling has very little to do with pronunciation. For example, the word tomato is always spelled T-O-M-A-T-O, regardless of whether it is pronounced toe-may-toe (North American English) or toh-ma-toe (British English). So to answer your question, no. Question may sound like it could be spelled with a K, but the spelling is nothing to do with ...


5

The mark above the e is known as an "acute accent", in contrast to the "grave accent" which is the accent sloped the other way as in è. On a Windows computer, you can hold the Alt key, type 130 on the number pad press 130, then release Alt to type é. http://www.alt-codes.net/ lists other characters you type in this method as well. On a Macintosh computer, ...


4

In The Cambridge Encyclopedia of The English Language, David Crystal notes 'no important regional variation' in the pronunciation of 'j' (dz) as a consonant. But there are regional variations in the 'ee' and especially in the 'ay'. (I am Australian and might say (but not sing) closer to 'jay-ee'.)


4

If you're just talking about spoken language, the answer is simple. The equivalent of: "I earned three As" is "I earned three Ss" with "Ss" pronounced "esses", rhymes with "messes". If you want to know the most idiomatic way to write it, that's slightly trickier. First, you need to separate "3" from the grade. "I have 3As" does not mean the same ...


4

There is no difference in the names or pronunciations of the letters G and J in any English dialect. They are called "Jee" and "Jay" respectively (with the consonant pronounced like a combination of "d" and the French "j"). There are notable differences in other letters: Z is called "Zed" in most of the ...


3

It was the Greeks who inserted the vowel signs in their alphabet adopted from semitic alphabets which had no vowel signs. There seems to be some logic in the way they inserted the vowels in the alphabet but I have never read anything about it. They seem to have taken "a" as the first vowel with the fullest mouth opening, then by raising the tongue getting e ...


3

Do you want to know if "c" and "k" sound the same? Think of some words like cliff, kitten, kettle, computer, camera, like. Pronounce these words and you will notice that both "c" and "k" are pronounced the same as "k". It is the same case if "c" and "k" are put together and are pronounced as "k" - click, pluck, tickle, lucky, kick, yuck, wicker (and many ...


3

Many Scottish people pronounce j 'jye' (to rhyme with eye, fly, sigh etc). Can make a telephone conversation tricky if they are spelling something.


3

I don't know about all acronyms, but in those mentioned and any that I know, no, the letter C is denoted by its name, that sounds like "see".


3

When letters from foreign alphabets are used as symbols in English -- like Greek π or Hebrew ℵ -- there is a conventional case assigned to that symbol. Like π for 3.1415926... is always written in lower case, even if it's at the beginning of a sentence. When you are using English words for the foreign letters, like "pi" instead of the actual Greek symbol --...


2

There are two ways to pronounce the letter "g" at the beginning of a syllable. The hard g /g/ is the most common pronunciation. It comes: before a consonant (great) before a back vowel (go, garden, get) before a front vowel in most words of Germanic origin (girl, gift,...) at the end of a word (frog) The soft g /ʒ/ It is extremely rare at the ...


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